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January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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Work Hard, Party Hard: Examining High Risk, High Achieving Students Krista Bailey Murphy

Why is this research important?  Brief review of relevant literature  Methods  Results  Discussion  Questions 

Overview

Importance of degree persistence & attainment  High levels of injury/death during a period of peak health  Merge quantitative and qualitative data to better understand the full picture of risk taking amongst college students  Educate college administrators about best practices 

◦ Best allocate resources

Why is this research important?

Literature Review

“That awkward period between sexual maturation and the attainment of adult roles and responsibilities” (Dahl, 2004, p. 9)  Psychosocial moratorium (Erickson, 1968)  Changes in industrial world led to longer period of adolescence (Arnett 2000; Erickson, 1968) 

They are “just” adolescents!

Risk taking falls within the larger context of decision-making  While decision-making implies the choice between multiple known alternatives, risk taking applies to a situation in which the consequences are unknown or ambiguous (Clifford, 1991). •

Decision-Making

 

Attempts to answer why risk taking increases between childhood and adolescence Adolescents are NOT: ◦ Irrational or deficient in information processing ◦ More likely to believe they are invulnerable ◦ Less risk averse than adults

So what ARE they?  Socio-emotional network vs. cognitive control network 

◦ During states of emotional arousal or when with peers

Social Neuroscience Perspective (Steinberg, 2008)

Construct

Measure

Sample Item

Risk Perception

Benthin et al., 1993

“If you did this activity (e.g. had unprotected sex), how much are you are risk for something bad happening?”

Sensation seeking

Zuckerman et al., 1978

“I sometimes like to do things that are a little frightening.”

Impulsivity

Patton et al., 1995

“I do things without thinking.”

Resistance to peer influence

Steinberg & Monahan, 2007

“Some people think it’s better to be an individual even if people will be angry at you for going against the crowd. BUT Other people think it’s better to go along with the crowd than to make people angry at you.”

Future orientation

Steinberg et al., 2009b

“Some people take life one day at a time without worrying about the future. BUT Other people are always thinking about what tomorrow will bring.”

Indices of Psychosocial Maturity

Risk perception (Benthin et al., 1993)  Sensation seeking (Zukerman et al., 1978)  Impulsivity (Patton et al., 1995)  Resistance to peer influence (Steinberg & Monahan, 2007)  Future orientation (Steinberg et al., 2009b) 

Psychosocial Maturity

Raising hand in class

Writing an editorial

Alcohol Use

Fighting

Reckless Driving

Disordered Eating

Drug Use

Running for SGA

Hooking Up

Gambling

Trying out for the play

How does risk taking manifest itself on a college campus?

1.A

large, national quantitative data set will provide statistically significant evidence that students who drink more (frequency and quantity) have lower overall GPAs, experience more negative consequences as a result of their drinking and experience more impediments to academic success 2.Students who live on campus, are member of Greek fraternities and sororities and/or are varsity athletes will have higher levels of binge drinking than their peers 3.Students who drink more (frequency and quantity) engage in other risky behaviors (unprotected sex, NMPD use, etc.) at higher rates than their peers

Hypotheses

Student-driven perspective on risk taking and academic achievement  Give voice to students 

Qualitative Goals

Methods

Risk Taking, Academic Performance and College Students

Quantitative

Qualitative

Analysis of ACHA-NCHA II Data

Screener & Interviews

Holistic Picture



American College Health Association National College Health Assessment II (ACHA-NCHA II)

◦ Spring 2009 & Fall 2009 data sets ◦ 121,313 respondents ◦ 65 questions; approximately 30 minutes to complete ◦ Student health profile - Alcohol, seatbelt use,

mental health, risk tempering behaviors, tobacco use, birth control, exercise, illnesses ◦ Demographic questions - Age, gender, year in school, residency, Greek affiliation, varsity athletics

◦ Reliable and valid

Quantitative Data Set

Reverse coded GPA  Combined several responses to “No Impact” and “Impact” variables 

Data Computations

Interview Process Screening Questionnaire

Eliminated all screeners below 3.5 GPA

Contacted potential interviewees

Conducted Interviews

Screening Questionnaire 1. In the last 30 days, on how many days did you use alcohol, marijuana, other drugs (including prescription drugs that were not prescribed to you)? Please check the appropriate response: o Never Used o Have used, but not in last 30 days o 1-2 days o 3-5 days o 6-9 days o 10-19 days o 20-29 days o Used Daily

2. Over the last two weeks, how many times have you had five or more alcoholic drinks at one sitting? Please check the appropriate response o Never o 1 time o 2 times o 3 times o 4 times o 5 times o 6 times o 7 times o 8 times o 9 times o 10 or more times

Interview Process Screening Questionnaire

Eliminated all screeners below 3.5 GPA & sorted by risk level

Contacted potential interviewees

Conducted Interviews

Divide screeners into low and high risk

Low Risk Group

High Risk Group

Q1: Have not used alcohol, marijuana or other drugs Q1: Have used alcohol, marijuana or other drugs in in the last 30 days. the last 30 days.

Q2: Have not consumed 5 or more drinks in one sitting in the last two weeks.

Q2: Have consumed 5 or more drinks in one sitting in the last two weeks.

Interview Process Screening Questionnaire

Eliminated all screeners below 3.5 GPA & sorted by risk level

Contacted potential interviewees

Conducted Interviews

Contact potential interviewees

Paired screening questionnaires with consent forms  Random selection process  Contacted interviewees via email  100% response rate 

Low Risk vs. High Risk Groups

Low Risk Group

High Risk Group

(6 eligible respondents)

(10 eligible respondents)

3.56 GPA

3.64 GPA

(3.57 overall)

(3.67 overall)

1 male 4 females

2 males 3 females

Interview Process Screening Questionnaire

Eliminated all screeners below 3.5 GPA & sorted by risk level

Contacted potential interviewees

Conducted Interviews

Conduct Interviews

    

Full meeting took between 45-60 minutes; interviews took between 25-45 minutes Interviews with high risk students took longer All interviewees answered all questions Recorded using GarageBand and turned into MP3 files for transcription $20 Bookstore gift card

Interview Questions 1. Tell me about the last time you partied or socialized. 2. What does it feel like to be drunk? 3. What are the rewards of being drunk? 4. Tell me about a typical night out and tell me about an extreme night out. 5. Do you play drinking games? If so, which ones and why? 6. Have you ever driven under the influence or ridden in a car with someone you knew was intoxicated? 7. How many drinks does it typically take for you to feel drunk? 8. What is meant by a standard drink (for calculating your blood alcohol content)? 9. What is appealing about taking risks? 10. What is appealing about drinking? 11. Have you had oral, vaginal or anal intercourse? If so, please tell me about the circumstances the last time this happened. If not, please tell me why you have chosen to abstain. 12. If you have had oral, vaginal or anal intercourse, have you used protection? 13. Please define academic achievement. What you do you think it means to be academically successful? 14. Please define risk taking. 15. Do you see any relationship between your risk taking and your academic goals? 16. What is the difference between something that is risky and something that is not risky? 17. Do you think your risk taking will change as you get older? 18. Do you think that risk taking is always “bad?” Can you provide an example of a risk you took that had a positive outcome? 19. I want you to think about a situation. In one situation, a group of friends decide to skip classes to go down the shore. In the other situation, a group of friends go down the shore on Saturday. Are the friends likely to feel closer in one situation than the other? Why or why not? 20. Can you tell me about a time when risk taking interfered with your school work? This could include (but doesn’t have to be) missing a class, missing a deadline, not achieving your goals. 21. Do you have anything you want to add that we have not talked about?

Transcription & Analysis

All interviews transcribed for analysis  Creation of six (6) distinct categories  Coding and agreement with two colleagues 

◦ Led to the combination of two categories and the creation of a new category

Results

Quantitative Analysis

Variable

Percent

N

1st Year Undergraduate

29.5

29,737

2nd Year Undergraduate

23.2

23,109

3rd Year Undergraduate

22.8

22,702

4th Year Undergraduate

18.3

18,209

5th Year Undergraduate

6.2

6,177

Campus Residence Hall

41.3

41,139

Fraternity/Sorority House

1.6

1,589

Other Campus Housing

5.2

5,199

Parent/Guardian

14.3

14,253

Other Off-Campus Housing

33.0

32,901

Other

4.1

4,116

Year in School

Current Residence

Demographic Variables – All Undergraduate Students

Variable

Percent

N

Campus Residence Hall

76.4

14,426

Fraternity Sorority House

.4

76

Other Campus Housing

1.3

250

Parent/Guardian

12.6

2,384

Other Off-Campus Housing

6.7

1,260

Other

2.2

423

A

34.3

6,476

B

49.9

9,424

C

14.0

2,648

D/F

1.8

335

Current Residence

Approximate GPA

Demographic Variables – First-Year Spring 2009 Cohort

Everything is significant!

Alcohol Use - Frequency

Housing Status & Number of Drinks

Variable

All Undergraduates

First-Year Cohort

Last 30 days: Alcohol

-.025**

-.098**

Last 30 days: Marijuana

-.073**

-.114**

Number of drinks last time partied or socialized

-.078**

-.128**

Last 2 weeks: 5 or more drinks of alcohol at sitting

-.063**

-.122**

.010**

-.033**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed antidepressants -.024**

-.037**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed pain killers

-.066**

-.081**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed sedatives

-.030**

-.048**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed stimulants

-.044**

-.061**

Last 12 months: Number of sexual partners

-.059**

-.104**

Used a method of birth control last time you had vaginal sex

-.074**

-.061**

Last 30 days: Drive after having 5 or more drinks

Risky Behaviors and GPA

Variable

All Undergraduates

First-Year Cohort

Last 30 days: Alcohol

-.025**

-.098**

Last 30 days: Marijuana

-.073**

-.114**

Number of drinks last time partied or socialized

-.078**

-.128**

Last 2 weeks: 5 or more drinks of alcohol at sitting

-.063**

-.122**

.010**

-.033**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed antidepressants -.024**

-.037**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed pain killers

-.066**

-.081**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed sedatives

-.030**

-.048**

Last 12 months: Taken unprescribed stimulants

-.044**

-.061**

Last 12 months: Number of sexual partners

-.059**

-.104**

Used a method of birth control last time you had vaginal sex

-.074**

-.061**

Last 30 days: Drive after having 5 or more drinks

Risky Behaviors and GPA

Alcohol as an Impediment to Academic Performance

Variable

GPA A

B

C

D/F

Anxiety

11.05%

17.19%

24.44%

37.95%

Cold/Flu/Sore Throat

13.23%

20.21%

26.07%

33.13%

Depression

5.94%

7.54%

17.18%

32.83%

Internet Use

9.08%

15.57%

23.01%

33.33%

Sleep Difficulties

14.35%

22.60%

31.94%

47.72%

Stress

17.32%

27.23%

40.28%

56.10%

Impact on Academic Performance

Variable

GPA A

B

C

D/F

Anxiety

11.05%

17.19%

24.44%

37.95%

Cold/Flu/Sore Throat

13.23%

20.21%

26.07%

33.13%

Depression

5.94%

7.54%

17.18%

32.83%

Internet Use

9.08%

15.57%

23.01%

33.33%

Sleep Difficulties

14.35%

22.60%

31.94%

47.72%

Stress

17.32%

27.23%

40.28%

56.10%

Impact on Academic Performance

Information Received vs. Desired

61.6%

Information Received vs. Desired

Information Received vs. Desired

Qualitative Analysis



Low risk students

◦ Risk taking is something out of your comfort zone that you usually decide to do without thinking about the potential consequences, which could be positive or negative to both you and the people around you



High risk students

◦ Risk taking is dangerous behavior that could cause you trouble, harm or impact you negatively but you do it anyway

Defining and Conceptualizing Risk Taking



Low risk students

◦ Risk taking is something out of your comfort zone that you usually decide to do without thinking about the potential consequences, which could be positive or negative to both you and the people around you



High risk students

◦ Risk taking is dangerous behavior that could cause you trouble, harm or impact you negatively but you do it anyway

Defining and Conceptualizing Risk Taking



Risk taking is doing something different or new that could cause you trouble or harm, but which also has the potential for a positive outcome

Student Definition of Risk Taking



Risk now versus high school

“Way more risks. Because, you’re not under the supervision of your parents here so you can kind of just do whatever you want and I mean, not to say that, I mean, when I was in high school I did stupid things. But here it’s just so much easier because it’s like a playground for making bad decisions basically. (laughter). Go college! Woo!” –Alison, high risk

Decision-Making



Risk now versus 30

“Because that’s the time to be mature, start thinking about the bigger picture. I think the time between high school and real life is the time you can have to kind of find yourself and kind of do what you need to do, take risks.” –David, high risk

Decision-Making



Knowledge does not equal action

Decision-Making



Alcohol use ◦ Badge of honor



Drug use ◦ Primarily marijuana & Adderall



Hooking up and sex ◦ Two kinds of protection

Painting a Picture of Individual Risk Taking



Interviews with all high achieving students 



Ability to prioritize & say no

Students identified procrastination as the biggest risk to their own academic achievement

Academic Achievement



“I’m not impacted, but my friends are”

Peer Perceptions and Influence

Family support and pressure  Career goals (future orientation construct)  Perceived importance of academic and social experience 

“It can be done, you don’t have to just sit in your dorm and study all the time to be a good student I would say. I think that coming to college and actually living there, the social aspect of it is also part of the experience and part of growing up. Not that that necessarily has to involved drinking, but I think that’s an important thing in someone’s life to like go out and meet people and learn how to socialize in that way. It plays as much of a role as academia I guess.” -Jessie, high risk

Achieving Both

“OK, this is cool. Umm, I feel like, uh, alright, I’m gonna say this. I feel like academics are really based upon the individual skill sets as opposed to their behavior. I mean, we do know for a fact that obviously, if you are drinking 5 days out of a week than 9 times out of 10 you’re probably not going to perform better than someone who is just not, if you’re on the same academic level. But, I don’t feel like having one day or even two maybe out of that week where you sort of drink, even a little bit in excess, will directly affect the outcome of their academics. So it’s really weird, I feel like there’s a really fine line of how they’re affected by each other because, like I told you about my roommate. You can have those experiences where you just like to drink and you drink pretty often, but you still produce well academically and then you can have those situations where it doesn’t occur. So I feel like it’s a very thin line and they’re very close to each other. But I wouldn’t say one is indicative of the other, unless it’s to that big of an extreme.” - Ryan, low risk

Achieving Both

Discussion



All three hypotheses were supported 1.A large, national quantitative data set will provide statistically significant evidence that students who drink more (frequency and quantity) have lower overall GPAs, experience more negative consequences as a result of their drinking and experience more impediments to academic success 2.Student who live on campus, are member of Greek fraternities and sororities and/or are varsity athletes will have higher levels of binge drinking than their peers 3.Students who drink more (frequency and quantity) engage in other risky behaviors (unprotected sex, NMPD use, etc.) at higher rates than their peers



These relationships grew stronger when just analyzing the first-year cohort

Summary of Results



Weak strength of correlations ◦ Only large effect size in correlation between alcohol consumption and negative consequences (especially number of days in last 30)



Student perceptions about impediments to academic performance ◦ Anxiety, cold/flu, internet use, sleep difficulties, depression and stress



Willingness of students to share their experiences ◦ Genuine gratitude for being asked

Surprising Findings

Ability of students to articulate what risks they took, why and how they view their risk changing over time  Articulation of socio-emotional network vs. cognitive control network  Ability to make “good decisions” 

Connection to Social Neuroscience Perspective



Risk perception ◦ Knowledge of “stupid” risks but willingness to take risk anyway ◦ Worth potential rewards



Resistance to peer influence ◦ All interviewees were able to provide examples



Future orientation ◦ Helped keep high risk behavior to a minimum

Connection to Psychosocial Maturity

Large sample size  Selection bias  Reliance on correlations 

Statistical Limitations

What (if anything) will impact behavior?  Importance of family/support systems  What do students want information about that we are not giving them? Do any of your campuses do a good job in this area? 

◦ Sleep, stress, anxiety, nutrition 

Open & honest conversations with students ◦ Students are open to these conversations, but are we asking the right questions? ◦ BASICS philosophy

Implications for Practitioners



Are we focusing so much on alcohol that students think it is even more pervasive than it actually is? ◦ “My mom was actually talking to someone else who has a son who goes here and he was saying how he almost regretted his decision to come here because they make it seem like that’s a major part of going to X is just drinking all the time and stuff.” ◦ We’ve made a change at our own Orientation to a workshop called Healthy Choices instead of a session devoted to alcohol

Implications for Practitioners

Longitudinal study comparing students across their four years in college  Build qualitative research base  Impact of social media/texting on desire for meaningful conversations 

Future Research

Questions

Krista Bailey Murphy  [email protected]  215-248-7142 

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